The Effects of the Changes in Chapter 7 Debtors' Lien-Avoidance Rights Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005

by Stephen J. Carroll, Noreen Clancy, Melissa A. Bradley, Jennifer Pevar, Jane McClure Burstain

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The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) limited the types and quantities of exempt household goods on which debtors could avoid certain liens. Part of the motivation for these changes was a perception that debtors were using their household goods as collateral to obtain loans that they never intended to repay. The Executive Office for U.S. Trustees (EOUST) asked the RAND Corporation to analyze the similarities and differences in the amounts and types of loans secured by debtors’ household goods reported in bankruptcy cases filed before and after BAPCPA. RAND found no changes in debtor or creditor behavior due to the new definition of household goods. Some interview participants noted that it may be too early to tell whether debtors are changing their practices related to this issue.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The Bankruptcy System

  • Chapter Three

    Participants’ Perceptions of the Effects of the Changes in Debtor’s Lien-Avoidance Rights

  • Chapter Four

    Empirical Analyses of the Effects of the Changes in Debtors’ Lien-Avoidance Rights

  • Chapter Five

    Conclusions

  • Appendix

    Group Discussion Guide

The research described in this report was prepared for the Executive Office for U.S. Trustees by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice.

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